In Praise of 6th Grade-Only Middle Schools

Posted on Monday, January 13, 2020

When it comes to choosing a community, excellent schools are at the top of every parent’s wish list. Young Vanbrooke scholars attend new schools in the Lamar Consolidated ISD, a district known for innovative programs including sixth grade-only campuses. 

Experts generally agree that the sixth grade is a major crossroads of a child’s development. These young adolescents are undergoing rapid physical and cognitive changes. They also are experiencing a massive identity shift that affects their relationships with their family, friends and peers. Hormonal changes cause other issues. 

Some districts choose to leave sixth grade students in elementary school, others send them to sixth through eighth grade middle schools or junior highs. Lamar CISD recognizes that the needs of sixth grade students are unique, which is why they created campuses that focus on the needs of pre-adolescents to provide a smooth transition to secondary schools.

Vanbrooke sixth-grade students attend Roberts Middle School, which opened last August. Teachers at Roberts are specially trained to address the physical and emotional changes that these students are going through so that they can succeed academically, socially and emotionally. Some of the benefits include:

  • A community-oriented philosophy for transition between elementary and junior high schools
  • Smaller class sizes facilitate learning
  • Training them to understand schoolwork that is less concrete and more abstract. 
  • A focus on building student confidence and teamwork
  • Support for their social-emotional development
  • Age- and developmentally appropriate activities, including those specifically designed for sixth graders who are not eligible to participate in middle school athletics
  • Elimination of social influence of older students

Lamar CISD is one of only a few school districts in Texas to offer sixth-grade campuses. That means Vanbrooke parents can rest easy, safe in the knowledge that all of their children’s needs will be met. Check out the Roberts Middle School Facebook page for more information. 

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